Winners Announced of Abroad Writers Conference Flash Fiction Contest

Heartfelt congratulations to the following winners of the Abroad Writers Conference Flash Fiction Contest. Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize Winner & F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature, selected the three winners:

1st Place: Darothy Durkac   — “What He Did With the Insides”

2nd Place: Kelly Creighton — “Until They’ve Hatched”

3rd Place: Hugh Fulham-McQuillan  — “Music to Drive By”


1st Prize: Free Admission to my 3 Day “Brilliance of Brevity” Workshop. Single room for seven nights, conference & a celebratory dinner in the castle with Judge, Robert Olen Butler. Total value $1, 085.

2nd Prize: A scrumptious full banquet dinner at Lismore Castle with conference luminaries: Robert Olen Butler, Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Gristwood, Mariel Hemingway, Edward Humes, Claire Keegan, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Anne Perry, Michelle Roberts, Alex Shoumatoff, Patricia Smith, Jane Smiley, and Lily Tuck. And, yeah, I’ll be there too.

3rd Prize: A complimentary pass to conference events at Lismore Castle.

The three winning stories will be published in 2014 in Ireland’s premier literary magazine, The Stinging Fly.



Soojin Kim         — “You Sound Well”

Ellen McCarthy — “In the Rain”


Darothy, Kelly, Hugh, Soojin, and Ellen–I very much look forward to meeting at least some, if not all, of you in Lismore Castle in December and to congratulating each of you in person. My deep thanks to everyone who entered the contest.

From Robert Olen Butler:

I was truly impressed with the high quality of submissions in this contest.  The decision process was arduous and nuanced.  The top twenty or so would have been among the winners of more than a few flash fictions contests I’ve judged. And I saw real potential in virtually all of them. Ireland must have been a powerful lure for nascent talent. That I might have a chance to work with some of these writers is very exciting for me as a teacher.

And please send all the submitters my warmest regards.  There’s not a one of them I wouldn’t be sincerely delighted to work with.  Honestly, given my years of experience judging contests, that surprises the hell out of me.

I still can’t quite believe my good fortune to return to Ireland in December to teach a writing workshop in Lismore Castle on short-short stories and the brilliance of brevity. I will teach a three day course December 11-13 from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The course will be packed with reading, writing, and workshopping, and all infused with enthusiasm and passion. To register email Nancy Gerbault at abroadwriters at Workshop cost is $500 (approx. €379 Euros). Affordable housing in Lismore and its environs are available and again email Nancy at abroadwriters at for details.

Please join me in Lismore. We will do great things together.

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